Former death penalty advocates, victims’ families, wrongly convicted, and law enforcement officials call for replacing a failed death penalty system with a strict life sentence
LOS ANGELES – A diverse coalition – including former death penalty advocates, victims’ families, wrongly convicted former inmates, law enforcement officials, and faith, labor and civil rights leaders –joined together to endorse Prop 62 on Thursday.
Prop 62 – the Justice That Works Act – will replace the death penalty in California with life in prison without parole. It provides certain justice by guaranteeing the worst criminals will never be released and requires convicted murderers to work and pay restitution to their victims’ families. By ending California’s failed death penalty system, Prop 62 will save taxpayers $150 million a year according to the Legislative Analyst’s Office.
Press conference participants included:
- Mike Farrell, Yes on Prop 62 proponent
- Dolores Huerta, civil rights and labor leader
- Franky Carrillo, wrongly convicted, released from prison after 20 years
- Gary Tyler, wrongly convicted, released from prison after 41 years
- Beth Webb, sister of a victim of the Seal Beach hair salon mass shooting
- Hilda Solis, Los Angeles County Supervisor
- John Van de Kamp, former California Attorney General
- Gil Garcetti, former Los Angeles County District Attorney
- Ron Briggs, led the campaign that brought the death penalty to California
- Rabbi Jonathan Klein, executive director of CLUE
- Eric Bauman, chair of the Los Angeles County Democratic Party
California death penalty facts
Currently, the death penalty costs 18 times as much to administer as life in prison without parole. California taxpayers have spent $5 billion since 1978 to put thirteen people to death, at a cost of $384 million per execution.
In addition to being costly, the death penalty has proven to be ineffective justice. It drags out the legal process for decades, denying closure to many victims’ families. Due to its arbitrary application and other factors, the death penalty does not achieve any of its supposed crime deterring benefits according to a 2012 National Academy of Sciences study. The death penalty system has also come under criticism for racial and economic bias.
Despite lengthy appeals guaranteed by constitutional due process rights, the risk of executing an innocent person is unavoidable. DNA technology and new evidence have proven the innocence of more than 150 people on death row around the country. In California alone, 66 people had their murder convictions overturned because new evidence showed they were innocent.
To use complimentary wire service photographs from the Yes on Prop 62 campaign, please visit this link.